Album Reviews: An Announcement to Answer by QuanticBeats, beats, beats. This is why Will Holland has been one busy junkie. From the stellar 2005 effort Pushin On to three projects in 2006, including one reissue, one rarities comp and this funked-up exploration, Holland hasn't had a moment to do much else besides transmit his inner polyrhythmic polymath for our enjoyment. And while Quantic Soul Orchestra remains his live band incarnation, this rousing solo effort packs as much party atmosphere and intricate craftmanship, not unusual considering that Holland plays almost every instrument for the QSO anyway.
Holland also has a decidedly progressive conscience, something examined with ass-shaking results on songs like the salsa-fied "Politick Society," featuring a high-octane vocal from Noelle Scaggs, and the smooth-grooved "Blow Your Horn," whose guest rapper Ohmega Watts pleads, "Let's rise above corporate media and industrial lies" to any clubgoer or stoopid-rap fan within range. Meanwhile, Holland's turn at the instrumentals bears serious fruit, including the cardiac stomp of the title track, a nearly five-minute blast of head-bobbing breakbeat throwback. If rappers had this type of intricate drumwork behind them again rather than the Casio crap they're repping now, we'd have a Golden Age all over again, and not a moment too soon. (The politics, as Quantic would no doubt agree, are already in place.)
Fans of Herbaliser and David Axelrod alike should feel right at home here, especially on the world-funk experiments of the Latin-infused "Sabor" and An Announcement to Answer's jagged, jazzy finale "Tell It Like You Mean It." Sure, Holland's solo release is short, but his productivity shouldn't be measured by one disc alone. Especially when he's putting out three a year. - Scott Thill, Morphizm.com
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